CLEVELAND — What a difference a Wieters makes.
Was it me or did the Orioles look like an entirely different team in Friday's 5-2 win than the one we've been watching the first two months of the season?
Are they shedding the dead weight? Is it just getting the band back together?
Friday was the Orioles' 54th game of the season, but it was the first time the team's core group of Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis and Manny Machado was healthy and on the field at the same time.
The defense was solid, everyone seemed to be on the same page. Orioles manager Buck Showalter credited Wieters for being a calming influence on him Friday.
As for Wieters, he has acknowledged he had a range of emotions in his first game back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction, but quickly got comfortable before the game even started.
"It felt good," Wieters said. "I think when I started warming up [Chris Tillman] in the bullpen, it kind of felt, 'OK, I'm kind of back to what I love doing.' It was a great feeling and I think of all the hard work and everything it took to get back."
-- May was a grind for Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. Over the past two games, he has already hit more homers (two) than he did in the entire month of May (one).
Jones hit just .239 with two doubles, one homer and seven RBIs in 27 games in May (109 at-bats). It's just five games into June, but Jones is hitting .368 (7-for-19) with two triples, two homers and three RBIs.
Jones never likes to look much into his streaks, good or bad.
"It really doesn't matter," Jones said. "I just grind it out and live with the results.
"If it's good, it's good," Jones deadpanned, then laughed. "If it's not, I'm going to slam my helmet."
-- For the second straight day, Showalter raved about how great it is to have vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson down in Sarasota, Fla., supervising some of the team's injured players, especially second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who appears to be playing well in extended spring training games.
Anderson isn't your typical front-office exec. He shags fly balls in the outfield. He is in charge of the team's nutrition program and also works closely with players on strength training.
So even though Florida medical coordinator Dave Walker is in charge of all the rehabbing players in Sarasota, Anderson isn't afraid to get a little sweaty himself. Showalter said that after games, players retreat to the weight room for another workout.
"They're doing two-a-days with Brady," Showalter said.
Here are some other quick-hit nuggets:
-- The Orioles are 21-0 when leading after seven innings.
-- The O's are 22-9 when scoring four or more runs and 19-11 when scoring first.
-- After last night's save, closer Zach Britton has converted 11 straight save opportunities, the second-longest streak of his career behind a run of 18 straight converted saves from July 19 to Sept. 4, 2014.
-- Tillman is now 8-1 with a 2.93 ERA in his last 11 starts against the American League Central. He has won his last four road starts against the division, going 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA.
-- With the win, Showalter tied Hall of Famer Frank Selee for 34th on the all-time managerial wins list with 1,284 wins.